San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In June, 1974, the Third Law of the Sea Conference will convene in Caracas, Venezuela to consider the establishment of an Ocean Regime. Although the ostensible scope of this conference is limited to a regime for the seabed and the subsoil of the ocean floor, a glance at the ancillary matters to be considered reveals that machinery could be established with jurisdiction over all matters related to ocean space (i.e. the water surface, water column, the ocean floor, and the subsoil). Irrespective of the scope of matters encompassed by the proposed regimes, a necessary component of that machinery is a means of effecting the compulsory peaceful settlement of disputes. The question of whether in fact there should even be a regime of any type is beyond the score of this inquiry. Numerous commentators, as well as the United Nations, have considered an ocean regime to be both necessary and desirable. The number of proposed drafts for a regime from nations of all degrees of power and philosophy indicates that the real question is not "whether," but "how"-what form should the regime take? The manner in which the regime should provide for the pacific settlement of disputes regarding matters within its competence is the focus of this paper.